Some Marketers Will Fail At Bridging Online Media And Offline Sales, But They Don’t Have To

jayfriedmannewData-Driven Thinking” is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.

Today’s column is written by Jay Friedman, COO at Goodway Group.

The ability to attribute offline sales to digital media is within reach. While every sale is not yet attributable, the results generated by measuring the lift of exposed consumers versus a control group is statistically significant enough to allow marketers to feel confident in the findings and further optimize the next campaign.

Any business that knows its customers’ names can match results back to digital media. Credit and bank card data, for example, can be matched back. Foot traffic or attendance-based event success can also be attributed back using a control vs. exposed lift model.

More importantly, these results can be pivoted to understand the impact of frequency, message sequencing or different creative treatments. The only major category that’s still challenging to measure is a good sold through a third-party retailer where no loyalty card exists, such as a pair of jeans bought at a department store. Even this gap may be closed sooner than we think.

For most of us this is exciting. However, the ability to nearly perfectly close this loop is creating a larger-than-ever gap between sophisticated marketers and the rest of the pack. Despite the advancements in measurement capabilities, I still speak with marketers measuring click-through rate or, equally as amazing, delivery. Every so often I speak with a marketer who is really doing it right.

The gulf between this marketer and the rest of the pack is tremendous. So tremendous I often wonder if those lagging behind even have a chance.

10% More Budget

Ask any chief marketing officer what they could do if they had 10% more budget and their face lights up with ideas.

Yet ineffective measurement is likely causing marketers far more than 10% of their budget in misdirected spend. How many 10% disadvantages does it take before a company has trouble competing at all?

These disadvantages are preventable. I see several things chief marketing officers can do immediately to ensure that a gap in digital media efficacy isn’t what leaves them behind.

Pay For Brilliance

For the typical family sedan, the base model often feels cheap and bare bones. The top-of-the-line model, though, nearly feels like a luxury car with leather, navigation tools, nice wheels and backup camera.

Same car, two very different experiences. This is what I’ve found agencies to be like. When an agency pitches potential clients, they will show them the top-of-the-line model but what clients drive away with depends on what they pay them.

If brands tell the agency they are willing to pay them well but want their best people and best thinking in order to remain a client, they’ll get it.

Measure The Right Thing The Right Way

Fraud sucks. Nonviewable ads are no good. But every time a new panic attack hits the digital media industry, chief marketing officers send their team and agency into a frenzy. Of course, this is more likely during a live campaign that is using CTR as a metric or using last ad seen or clicked to attribute.

If this is the case, that frenzy is for naught because rather than worrying about the 10% to 50% of the budget that is being wasted on fraud or viewability, 100% is being wasted focusing on the wrong metric or attribution.

Fundamentals First

“Defense wins championships.”

“Let’s get back to blocking and tackling.”

There is a reason the business world is filled with sports analogies that focus on getting the basics right. Brands need to ensure that they have the basics right for measuring what matters within their campaigns.

Media has never been more complex, and it’s not going to get any easier for quite some time, if ever. Brands must fine-tune the fundamentals of their media and measurement sooner rather than later to keep their businesses competitive.

Follow Jay Friedman (@jaymfriedman) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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